Mechanised harvesting has transformed some forestry operations, greatly reducing risks to manual fallers and breakers out.
However, harvesting on steep slopes creates different risks. So, at the industry’s request, over the past year we’ve been working with a broad group of experts and industry people to create a New Zealand Winch-Assisted Harvesting Good Practice Guide. The guide will set a benchmark for winch-assisted harvesting on steep slopes.
We are now seeking industry feedback on the draft guide before it is finalised in the first quarter of next year. This includes your feedback on the relevance, understandability and completeness of the content. We’d also like your thought on which parts of the guide should be turned into laminated fact-sheets that can be kept in machine cabs or site containers, and the best ways to distribute it.
The guide covers a wide range of topics related to winch-assisted harvesting, so it is quite long. But it will be divided into chapters so people can just read or download the parts relevant to them.
It was developed by a working group that included industry representatives, WorkSafe, and machinery manufacturers. It has been reviewed by several contractors to get their feedback, along with a forestry expert at Canterbury University, Professor Rien Visser.
We’d like your feedback on the guide by 28 February 2022. Send feedback to John.firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call John Lowe on 021 164 8036.
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Trailer failure – need to check trailers before use – PF Olsen
This alert from PF Olsen covers an incident where the left hand wheel separated from a towed ATV trailer while travelling on the public highway. Fortunately the wheel embedded into a roadside hedge and was easily recovered. The WoF had expired 4 months ago! There were no injuries – but high potential for harm or property damage. The incident highlights how a poorly maintained trailer can be a hazard to yourself and other road users. No matter how good you are at towing, you can never tow a badly maintained trailer well and safely. See the alert for suggested safe behaviours to prevent incidents like this.
Need for guarding on forestry machinery
Mechanisation has helped improve safety in forestry by reducing the number of people doing the high-risk tasks of manual falling and breaking out. However, mechanisation can introduce new risks, including the risk of injuries from people falling from machinery. One of the most effective ways to prevent falls from machinery, or any large plant and equipment, is to use guardrails.
See this dashboard with information about injuries and fatalities in forestry, based on the most recent data provided by WorkSafe and ACC.
PREVENTING FOREST FIRES
As summer gets into full swing, see this information from NZFOA on managing the risks of forest fires